21 January 2018

Blog: Monthly message from our Chair Sir Andrew Burns KCMG

October was certainly a busy month for the BSB. The Bar Conference and Young Bar Conference was held on Saturday, 17 October and I chaired the BSB session "You cannot be serious!" about serious misconduct at the Bar and the fair allocation of work. Fellow board members Naomi Ellenbogen QC and Aidan Christie QC led a lively discussion focussed on a case study which got many members of the Bar talking and tweeting. Regulatory Policy Director Ewen MacLeod and Policy Manager Amit Popit led a presentation about the fair allocation of work and equality and access to justice issues. We had some excellent contributions from those present about how to address allocation issues within chambers.

Of course, we also had our display stand where many members of the Bar engaged with us about topical issues, such as our latest consultations. We had directors Amanda Thompson and Ewen on hand to answer your questions about dual practising certificates, public access, the BSB Handbook and more. It was a great opportunity for our team to speak to so many delegates.

We published our long-awaited Professional Statement last month, which ties in with our Future Bar Training consultation which has now closed. We look forward to considering your responses to the consultation and potentially making sweeping reforms to ensure a newly qualified barrister meets the requirements of the Professional Statement.

We also recently published our report on the High Impact Supervision Returns. It tells us that the majority of chambers which are "high impact" (that is, the potential impact of something going wrong at, say, chambers which primarily deal with vulnerable lay clients) are actually doing a great job and cooperating well with their regulator. See what Supervision Director Oliver Hanmer had to say about it in his blog on Legal Futures.